26/02/2015

So, where was I, before I was so rudely interrupted by the ‘flu? It’s the first time in my life I’ve caught it, so it’s not bad going I suppose. One of the companies at which LSS teaches English has had lots of staff who have it, so that’s probably where it came from.

Anyway, it turns out we have EIGHT bunnies. Now that they’re all out of the nest they’re a lot easier to count. They are all the same colour, and eating their little heads off. Due to the enforced inactivity, we did quite a bit of bird-watching from the kitchen window, and saw three new species: long-tailed tits (Aegithalos caudatus), Eurasian nuthatch (Sitta europaea), and a tree sparrow (Passer montanus). The goldfinches have also returned; they’re really colourful.

I also did some planning work for the barn, figuring out where we’re going to install new windows and doors. I’ve been thinking about heating as well; the barn is going to be a fairly large open-plan area (apart from the bathroom of course!) so I may consider building a rocket mass heater. These appear to be very efficient heaters and very economical on wood.

The mead has been bottled, but the next batch of beer has not yet been started.

An additional roost has been installed in the chicken coop ready for the new hens which we’ll probably get next week. It’s at a slightly lower height than the existing one, so the pecking order should be easily enforced. We’ve also ordered some more plastic fencing for the chicken run; this will be needed to increase its size for the four additional hens. The current occupants have eaten pretty much everything there is to eat within reach of their existing run, no matter how we reconfigure the shape. “My name is Chicken. Destroyer of Worlds…”

The insurance expert was scheduled to visit the aged FIL’s property to discuss the rebuilding of the burnt-down garage; however, he had caught the ‘flu as well, so instead they’ve just sent some documents. I think rebuilding can probably begin within the next couple of weeks.

On one of the days when I was feeling not quite so under the weather, I cleared the brush from around some of the wild apple and pear trees near Borehole Field. I also cut some more wood. The centre woodshed is now empty, ready for the next batch! Now I’m just waiting for the weather to improve slightly (it’s been grey and damp for ages now) and then I can fell the other dead tree near the pond. That will probably fill up all the space in the woodshed. Well, I hope so anyway!

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